Jamie Carragher has joined the many former Liverpool players to commentate on Daniel Sturridge’s seemingly never ending injury problems.
The striker, probably Liverpool’s best player when fit, is in line for a return against West Ham in the FA Cup on Tuesday – with fans having last seen him at the beginning of December.
But Sturridge has not been out with proper, debilitating injuries – just niggling ones – the kind which fans don’t believe should keep a player out for two months.
And it seems Carragher, a former team-mate of Sturridge’s, agrees with that claim – stating that Sturridge will only take the field if he feels completely fit.
“People do treat injuries differently. He is a brilliant player but there is no doubt he had to be 100 per cent fit to play,” the former Reds defender told talkSPORT.
“That’s not criticism of him, that is just a fact. It is not just Daniel, it happened sometimes with foreign players.
“I am not talking about them shirking but they feel if their body is not 100 per cent they are putting themselves at more risk of injury, or they are not going to perform to the level they would like to.
“That is when a player like myself or (Dietmar) Hamann (who has been particularly critical of Sturridge), more defensive players, would carry on and just do it.
“It must be frustrating for him, I understand that, but there is also frustration from Liverpool as a club and supporters because he has been injured so often.
“For a manager it is difficult but the fact it has gone on so long and he is Liverpool’s best player makes it more frustrating.
“The problem is it is not a broken leg or a cruciate knee (ligament) injury; I’ll be honest, I don’t know now what the injury is at the moment.”
It’s true that Sturridge has to be at 100% to play, but it’s important to note that plenty of foreign Premier League imports are happy to put their bodies on the line for the cause.
Luis Suarez is the best example we can think of in this respect. The Uruguayan missed matches through suspension because he was so passionate on the field he lost his head on a few occasions, but we’d almost prefer this to a player not willing to give everything for his wages and the fans.
Still, Sturridge is a wonderful footballer. And regardless of his mindset, we desperately want him to maintain fitness and get a run of games in the side.